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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  AstraZeneca    AZN   GB0009895292

ASTRAZENECA (AZN)
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FTSE at two-month peak as sterling falters

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10/06/2017 | 06:36pm CEST
FILE PHOTO: A man shelters under an umbrella as he walks past the London Stock Exchange

LONDON (Reuters) - British shares edged higher on Friday and held to their highest level in two months as political uncertainties linked to Theresa's May's premiership pushed the pound lower, giving a boost to dollar-earning groups such as pharma stocks.

The FTSE 100 index <.FTSE> closed 0.2 percent up at 7,522.87 points, with Britain's pound on track for its worst week in a year as the Prime Minister hit back at a plot to topple her, saying she would provide "calm leadership" to the country.

"The talk of a leadership plot against the Prime Minister is eroding the pound's value and propping up the FTSE 100," CMC Markets analyst David Madden wrote in a note to clients.

Last month sterling strength helped the FTSE 100 to post a slight decline for September, but the currency has since been losing steam and the index has posted its biggest one-week gain since December last year.

Health stocks, which source a sizeable chunk of their revenue from the United States, were among the biggest gainers. Heavyweights GlaxoSmithKline (>> GlaxoSmithKline) and AstraZeneca (>> AstraZeneca) rose by about 0.3 percent and 1 percent respectively.

British American Tobacco (>> British American Tobacco) was up 1.6 percent and Imperial Brands (>> Imperial Brands) advanced by 0.2 percent.

Shares in budget airline easyJet (>> EasyJet) dropped by 1.6 percent, the biggest FTSE 100 faller, after a price target cut from broker Credit Suisse.

The airline also posted a mixed pre-close update, with analysts pointing to pricing pressures despite easyJet reporting a record summer and saying that it expects to reach the higher end of its profit range.

"Revenue trends are improving, but pricing remains under pressure," Liberum analysts said in a note.

Credit Suisse analysts saw some supportive factors, however.

"With Monarch's failure, Air Berlin's break-up, Alitalia's administration and Ryanair capacity cuts, we expect this confluence of positives must help EZJ (easyJet) pricing," they said in a note.

Shares in building materials company CRH (>> CRH PLC) fell by 1.3 percent after its offer for U.S. Ash Grove Cement Co (>> Ash Grove Cement Co) was surpassed.

(Reporting by Kit Rees and Julien Ponthus; Editing by Keith Weir and David Goodman)

By Kit Rees and Julien Ponthus

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ASH GROVE CEMENT CO 0.00%-End-of-day quote.9.76%
ASTRAZENECA 0.83% 5979 Delayed Quote.15.80%
BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO 0.46% 4222.5 Delayed Quote.-16.24%
CRH PLC 0.63% 2571 Delayed Quote.-3.84%
EASYJET 2.06% 1607 Delayed Quote.7.55%
FTSE 100 INDEX 0.28% 7234.11 End-of-day quote.-5.90%
GLAXOSMITHKLINE 0.15% 1619.4 Delayed Quote.22.27%
IMPERIAL BRANDS -0.03% 2986.5 Delayed Quote.-5.64%
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Financials ($)
Sales 2018 22 220 M
EBIT 2018 5 342 M
Net income 2018 2 201 M
Debt 2018 14 768 M
Yield 2018 3,62%
P/E ratio 2018 42,88
P/E ratio 2019 35,24
EV / Sales 2018 4,97x
EV / Sales 2019 4,68x
Capitalization 95 778 M
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 28
Average target price 76,1 $
Spread / Average Target 0,69%
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Managers
NameTitle
Pascal Soriot Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Leif Valdemar Johansson Non-Executive Chairman
Pam P. Cheng Executive VP-Operations & Information Technology
Marc Dunoyer Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director
Sean Bohen Chief Medical Officer & Executive Vice President
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